Rod MacDonald, Rex Blazer & Bill Walach

LLS Jupiter Distinguished Faculty Award 2012

Music Appreciation and Performance

Rod MacDonald began his career as a singer/songwriter in Greenwich Village, NY in 1973. He has 21 songs in the Smithsonian Folkways collection and has released 12 CDs of his own songs, including 2018’s “Beginning Again” and three CDs with Palm Beach County band Big Brass Bed. He performs in festivals, clubs and concerts locally and throughout North America and Europe and was named “Best Local Acoustic Performer” in Broward and Palm Beach counties by the New Times and “one of the ten magnificent musicians of Palm Beach County” by the Palm Beach Post. An instructor with Osher LLI at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) since 2006, his previous series include Folksinging in Modern Times, The Great American Songbook and The Roots of Rock and Roll.

Learn more about Rod at

Rex Blazer (fiddle) is a founding member of the nationally-known contradance band Lift Ticket and is a veteran of several seasons as a fiddler at the South Florida Rennaissance Festival. He performs regularly with local traditional bands and with Rod MacDonald.

Bill Walach (mandolin) has been performing traditional tunes since the 1960s in New England, has published a book of Quebec fiddle tunes and recorded a CD of experimental music for mandolin and tuba. He and Rod first played together in 1973 in Connecticut.

The Music of Cape Breton

Rod MacDonald with Rex Blazer and Bill Walach

One of North America’s most unspoiled areas, the Isle of Cape Breton, in the northeast corner of Nova Scotia, Canada, has a unique musical culture drawn from settlers from France, England, Scotland and Ireland, yet somehow distinctly New World. The small, close-knit population has a surprising number of musicians and singers known for their fiery fiddle tunes and songs of the fierce seas and breathtaking landscapes around them. Today, worldwide music festivals feature Cape Breton fiddlers and singers as a singular presence.

Partially funded by a grant from FAU’s LLS Foundation, Rod MacDonald and fiddler Rex Blazer journeyed to Cape Breton in July 2016, to perform and refresh their knowledge from earlier such trips. Join Rod, Rex and mandolinist Bill Walach (the St. Patrick’s Day band at Paddy Mac’s in Palm Beach Gardens) for a musical journey through the tunes, songs and characters of the beautiful isle.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # W1RK — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Thursday, March 2 2017
Time:7 - 9 PM
Fee:$25 / member; $35 / non-member

Register Now
 Last Modified 2/12/15